Author Archives: twovespas

A Great Road Near The Ocean

Day 13 – Port Melbourne to Port Fairy

Waking early on the Spirit, the scene out the scuttle did not look fantastic. A very angry looking sky awaited us and from what I could tell, a bit of a nasty wind. And so it was that we trundled off the ferry and headed for the Todd Rd service centre for some fuel and to assess the weather conditions. It wasn’t looking good. I checked the radar picture on the iPhone while Nikki paid for the fuel. There were storms moving across Port Phillip Bay and to the west of us – exactly where we wanted to be.

Not to be completely discouraged, we jumped on the West Gate Bridge and headed towards Geelong. At North Laverton, we pulled into Maccas for some breakky and to wait out the storm (we had seen some impressive lightning while on the road). I also thought that I’d be able to get some blogging done but it turns out that we found the only MacDonalds in Australia that doesn’t have wifi. There coffee was good, my muffin was tasty and their toilet was filthy.  A RAAF corporal came in to get coffee for her workmates and we were given a reminder that we have jobs to get back to in a couple of weeks – yuck.

The storm passed pretty quickly and we were soon back on the road. I’ll say at this juncture that I don’t mind riding in the rain so I wasn’t too concerned about it. What I really detest is wind. A windy day can ruin a fun ride. As we headed around the outside of Geelong we were hit by some of the strongest gusts I’ve experienced in many years of riding. By the time we got to Torquay I was in no mood for the Great Ocean Road. Gassing up again, we headed back out into the wind to find the start of the iconic stretch of tarmac.

As we got closer to the start, the wind seemed to die down a bit and we were getting distracted by the odd Thunderbird-esque houses that line the coastline here. Seemingly out of nowhere, the gateway marking the beginning of the Great Ocean Road appeared – complete with three bus-loads of Japanese tourists all waiting patiently behind one another to get their photo taken in front of the gate. We just pulled to the side of the road to take our shots before moving off again.

We were not ready for what we saw. The most stunning piece of coastline complete with cliffs, beaches, rocky outcrops, forest, scrub and farms. It was hard to pick a few single spotss from which to take photos because it was all just amazing. i wish I could have had a video camera running the whole time. At Apollo Bay we paused to let the buttocks recover and to get some lunch – and what a lunch! A small bistro opened on the stroke of twelve boasting a rather interestingly-looking menu (and odd artwork prints on the walls). We feasted on calimari and blue eye cod washed down with a mineral water for Nikki and an LL&B for me (perfectly mixed, I might add). The staff even obligingly charged Nikki’s phone behind the bar while we ate. This meal was fate – just what we needed after the complete hash of a dinner on the Spirit (I still feel sick when I think about it).

From Apollo Bay, it was back on the road to see the rest of the dramatic coast. We started to climb up the hills behind the town and were treated to a full view of the bay before retreating under the canopy of a rainforest. And that’s what we really didn’t expect – rainforest! This road goes from strength to strength. One minute you’re in brilliant sunshinee (still getting smashed by the wind) and the next you can hear bell birds as you daart through thick sub-tropical forest before bursting through to picturesque farm land with fat cows and full haystacks.

It wasn’t long before we were to come across one of the road’s more notable features in the Twelve Apostles. Beautiful structures to be sure but to get to them meant leaving the scoots on their own amid hundreds of tourists and we just didn’t feel comfortable with that. We did park at one spot to make the relatively short walk to the cliffs to get some photos before zooming off once more. Just before Port Campbell, Nikki spotted a likely photogenic spot in which we might get the scoots. This time, some fellow travellers obligingly took some shots for us and we regretted not stopping to have a yarn with them. Port Campbell was on our minds though as it promised to have fuel and we were getting low. Well, the fuel stop was something out of a Stephen King novel. A small dirty wooden shed adorned with number plates from all over the world. The mechanic eyed us suspiciously while his lovely assistant took the cash and made an entry into a paper ledger. Somewhere in the distance a banjo played. We left – quickly.

Hurry Up - I Hear Banjos

It seemed like Warrnambool appeared very soon after that which I was greatful for as it meaant that our destination for the night wasn’t far away. In Warrnambool, a strange structture dominated the vista to our right. I checked in with Nikki through our helmet commmunicators to ask her opinion. Our best guess is that it was Australia’s ‘Big Pickled Onion’ – if such a thing exists. Seriously thought – that’s what it looked like.

Port Fairy drew ever closer and when we finally rolled into town it was with a sense of great relief as we had completed one of the longest rides we would do for this trip. Port Fairy is a pretty little town and – as I learned while researching a geocache – boasts around fifty buildings on the National Trust. We enjoyed some great pub food (schnitzel and a steak) washed down with a local ale brewed in Warrnambool. A long walk followed (for geocaching of course) before icecream and bed

Tomorrow – off to Dunkeld and the Royal Mail. Can’t wait! Ciao!

Click HERE for today’s pics.

Heading North

Day 12 – Orford to Devonport

We had all these good intentions of getting up early and putting laundry on and doing some blogging and spending some quality time with the family. Most of that got done except for the blogging – apologies!

The morning went pretty nicely but we failed to meet our departure time so we had to curtail our intended route somewhat. Initially, we had intended to travel up the Tasman Highway to the northern side of Bicheno (home of scooter-riding Mayor Bertrand Cadart) turning west to take in the Fingal Valley – a very decent ride with beautiful scenery practically the entire way. This was not to be.

Instead, we retraced the path we had taken to get to Orford some days ago. This route took us back to Swansea and then west over Lake Leake Road to Campbell Town.

 Despite the assurances of Google Maps and our own GPS, there are no fuel stations in Campbell Town. Fortunately the scoots weren’t feeling too thirsty this morning and managed to amble into Perth quite comfortably. We stopped for some hot chips and a yarn with a Can-am Spyder owner and his niece. They’d had a huge morning already covering much of the North Coast (on a borrowed bike while their ride got new shoes) before heading back south to Oatlands. As with everyone with a slighty different bike (hello Gilera Fuoco!) this poor guy was subjected to another cocky wanting to know the basic answers that any fool could get off the net in about 8 seconds. ‘Does it go alright mate?’, ‘Do you have to lean it?’, ‘So it’s not like a real bike then?’ and so on until you just want to tell them to piss off. Nice people though and he managed to maintain his sense of humour.

While in Perth we grabbed a quick geocache. A nice easy find in some green space between a couple of houses. The slasher was busy at work so we had to time our grab between his sweeps. On returning to the scoots, we found a family of three looking them over. Now – we were parked on the side of the road at the entrance to a town and these guys had pulled over to get a better look. Of course we were nice – taking a leaf out of the Spyder rider’s book – and dutifully answered their questions.

At last we were back on the road heading north-west to joing the Bass Highway for the final push to Devonport. On the way we passed some of Tasmania’s better known food producers in D’Anvers Chocolate and Ashgrove Cheese. We didn’t have time to stop today but I’m sure we’ll be back. Arriving in east devonport we consulted the GPS and picked up a couple more caches before heading over to the dock to check in. The line wasn’t too long when we arrived which was a surprise. We had booked this trip relatively late and were forced to purchase the most expensive cabin on the ship. To this end, we expected to see maany cars, caravans, campervans and bikes waiting in line to board. This was not too be with only about half of the vehicle lanes filled. I have to say that I saw no evidence to suggesst that absolutely every cabin was occupied and am tempted to make some discrete enquiries with the company.

Despite the cabin debacle – the berth itself was quite plush for a ferry ride. A wonderfully soft queen bed, plenty of room and a larger-than-usual bathroom. We even got some nice bathrobes in which to while away the journey. This level of comfort and luxury was in stark contrast to the meal we took that evening. We had resolved to eat at ‘The Captain’s Table’ – the inaptly named family feedbag that everyone seems to flock towards the second they get onboard. We grabbed a tray and joined the queue through the cafeteria style set-up selecting a few different items. For my own part, I have not ingested a worse meal in my entire life – and I was in the Army. To stave off sticking our fingers down our throats, we headed for the gift shop and purchased a couple of treats for dessert before retiring to our palatial cabin for the night.

The crossing was a little topsy turvy but our comfy bed made it pass as if upon a mill pond.

Tomorrow – The Great Ocean Road!

When we can track down a proper Internet Cafe, we’ll be able to upload some photos. This is something the iPad is not so good at. Ciao!

Photos are ready! Click HERE.

You Can Just Taste It

Okay, so it’s been a few days since we last put some words down – but a lot has happened.

Day 11 – Happy Birthday Nikki!

A lazy morning today before being kindly driven to Hobart by Nikki’s Dad so we could attend the Taste of Tasmania Festival. Nikki’s brother Andrew was along for the day. Experience has taught us that things can get a little untidy after a few cheeky ones so we were glad to have a driver for the day.

After doing a lap of the stalls, we settled on some seafood for our first taste. Nikki and I shared some cajun calimari and some very spicy scallops all washed down with a couple of very decent bevvies – a Moo Brew for me and a sparkling rose from Josef Chromy for Nikki. I moved onto the pinot for the rest of the day while Nikki rather sensibly stuck to her rose.
Other delights of the day included bratwurst, marinated lamb, thai beef salad, sushi, tiny tiny pancakes and fresh raspberries. The greatest delight was discovering that one vineyard’s worker had decided to be very generous with her pour. Needless to say we attended her stall more than once!

We were also treated to seeing a couple of the Sydney to Hobart yachts – most notable was Wild Oats XI. Not the winner this year but pretty famous nonetheless.

Another great thing about the Taste is you always end up talking to someone new and interesting. This year we were lucky enough to meet some delightful locals and their relatives visiting from Adelaide. They were a fun bunch and we exchanged some information. Nikki got talking to the youngest lad of the group who turned out to be an Air Force Cadet – they seemed to click really well. One of the chaps in the party turned out to be a cameraman and he urged me to watch  his forthcoming documentary. I said I would mention it on the blog so here goes – SBS1 at 830pm on 8 Jan ‘Sweet Home Cabramatta’. Actually it sounds quite interesting!

The whole day was one hoot after another and was topped off by finding another Hobart cache before heading home (our most southern find!). Thanks to Phil for driving us. Sorry about the sore head Andrew but you’re on holidays and allowed to cut loose if you feel like it!Our next story will be about heading north again to meet the Spirit and our journey on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Ciao!

 

On Island Time

Days 4 – 10….

There’s no need to rush in Tassie. Just take it easy and let things come to you. That’s the theory at least.

But seriously, we’ve been having a stress-free break and spending time with family and friends.

The scoots got themselves some pampering before a glamour photo shoot (see the link at the bottom of this post). Unfortunately, we also got the tops of our feet sunburned in the process! You see, even though the temperature down here doesn’t really top the scales, there’s a distinct lack of ozone layer above your head. Coincidentally, the American scientist who figured out that putting lead in petrol would stop engine knock also invented chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in an attempt to find a safe refrigerant – not so safe it turns out.

With Nikki’s brother and sister with us – geocachers all – we spent a day hunting down small plastic containers along the Tasman Highway. We took the scoots for a run while everyone else piled into the car. A couple of these finds we had discovered before so we let the rest of the guys make the discovery on their own as we looked on. After the second find, Nikki announced that she wasn’t feeling too good and headed back to the barn. The rest of us continued on and found a few more before taking in an exquisite milkshake at Kate’s Berry Farm. As Nikki wasn’t with us, I picked up a jar of strawberry jam (her favourite flavour) for her to enjoy later on.

One small embarrassing moment did occur on that day. As the car load of family headed back down the coast from Spiky Bridge (see pics), I stayed behind to get a few photos – and to have a wee. Despite my eagle-eye attentiveness, I still managed to get busted by a coach-load of Japanese tourists with cameras. Awesome. Actually, I don’t think they even noticed.

Our other days have been spent lazing about with some reading, a bit of sleeping and wandering over to the cafe for some coffee. We even got down to Hobart for a day – something we will repeat on Nikki’s birthday to attend the Taste of Tasmania Festival.  I’ve been treated to some fantastic bird watching just by sitting at the kitchen table! Superb Fairy Wrens love the bird bath out the back. They’re a bit too fast for me to get a photo though.

The scoots have spent most of their time in the shed but their time will be coming again shortly. We will be on the road again on 3 Jan heading back up the coast to meet the Spirit. Nikki’s brother Andrew will join us as far as Elephant Pass for some pancakes.

I’m sure a lot more has happened than what I’ve written here but I just can’t think of all of it right now. New Year’s came and went and I also got in some fishing picking up some tasty flathead (thanks to neighbour Rod and his boat). Speaking of New Year’s, I can’t recommend Bundaberg Rum’s ‘Reserve’ enough – a nice smoky flavour that I quite enjoyed.

We’ll hopefully get in another post this evening or maybe tomorrow morning to tell you all about the Taste Festival and Nikki’s birthday!

Click HERE for pics from days 4-10.

merrychristmas

Day 3 – Devonport to Orford

OK – first disclaimer – I am tipsy and typing on Dad’s netbook which seems semi-retarded. Also – google latte sex im drunk from these as I type. Gold.

So we were very quick through quarantine being on bikes and before we knew it we were on the highway heading for Launceston. We took one wrong turn (totally the fault of the tassie street signs) and then arrived at our first fuel stop at the turn off to the Launceston airport. The girl asked us if our scooters were Christmas presents – haha, cool.

It was awesome to see the poppy fields in bloom and all the hay that the farmers had made already. Even though it was a little chilly (Morgan said through the headset that the weather was perfect – I didn’t argue, but thought what are you thinking!!??!!) it was all beautiful and we were lucky to be here at this time of the year. L

There was no one on the road, everyone seemed to be going the other way which was awesome. Our first real stop was at Conara where we stopped for a Christmas day cache. It was called “bring your own paper” which we worked out that the name worked once we used the bathroom after we found the hide. Awesome

So we took the Lake Leake Road to get us over to the east coast. It was an awesome ride on the scoots. We both found that we took a couple of the corners badly – we think that it was because of the road surface because other corners were tamed gangsta style.

Morgan found a dead tasmanian devil on the road, which was very fresh roadkill. He took it off the road and once we arrived at Orford, I reported it on the devil roadkill website. It was heaps sad.

Our next stop was for fuel at Swansea. We were starving after eating a very average breakfast on the Spirit which was better than nothing, but we decided to push on to Orford rather than eat something crappy.

The ride from Swansea to Orford was MAGIC. Again – no traffic our way and only about ten cars coming towards us. Pity that five of those ten were in our lane, but we managed to avoid them. The view down the Tasman Highway on that stretch is beautiful and I am pretty sure we will be up that way again on this trip to take some photos.

Finally at Orford!

So we arrived at Orford at 1109h, we left Devonport at 0700h. It was a fantastic ride and then the rest of the day was awesome with mum and aunty eileen. Great food and a couple of bottles of Jansz yay. Pity about the Tassie weather – way too cold! We are sitting on the deck in jeans and fleeces (yes LukeB brand) and I am freezing.

I apologise now for this post. I am drunk – tipsy was an uber understatement. Sorry friends. Of course photos were taken which will be uploaded tomorrow 🙂

Click HERE to see today’s pics!

Pushing On…

Day 2 – Albury to Port Melbourne

So Albury turned out to be a great success. The hotel, while very cheap at $89 was very comfortable and featured the most important part of any good room – a decent shower head.

We enjoyed a decent steak each and indulged in some delectable desserts. Rhiannon and Ian were our hosts in the restaurant and looked after us quite well. Ian had a bit of a natter with us about his ideas for next year’s menu as he was looking forward right through to Easter. He thought he might be jumping the gun a bit here but, as we assured him, hot cross buns will be in the supermarkets on Boxing Day!

We ate at the hotel again for breakfast (awesome scrambled eggs) before saddling up the scoots for the push to Melbourne. Unfortunately we chose a table next to an annoying couple that either complained about everything or spoke loudly about the fact that they lived in Newtown in Sydney. If only they’d seen Newtown twenty years ago – nothing to brag about back then! I was feeling pretty anxious again as there was only so much time to make the ferry to Tas. My mood was not fantastic and Nikki ordered me to snap out of it later in the day (and I totally deserved it).

Before departing the Twin Cities, however, we just had to hunt down a couple of Geocaches. For the uninitiated, Geocaching is a kind of hide-and-seek game using GPS receiver. Players have hidden ‘caches’ all around the world for others to seek out. At a minimum, the cache will contain a log book which is signed with the cacher’s handle. Additionally, cachers then log the find on the Geocaching website. Those who hide caches also maintain them, so we feel that it’s proper to write a short story about the hunt for them to enjoy. After all, it’s supposed to be a challenge to find these things. If you check out the site, I’m sure you’ll be surprised just how many caches are near your house! It’s like a secret little world.

Finally on the road again, we crossed the Murray River and it was an absolute delight to see it running so strongly. I despair for this river and really live in hope that a viable solution can be found for its welfare.

So, what can we say about the rest of the Hume Highway? It was mostly uneventful. I think there were less than ten trucks on the road today but no shortage of people traveling. One overtaking orange Falcon featured a blonde who took great delight in rolling down the window and laughing derisively at our mode of transportation. Pity her people, for she will never get it. I thought of her and her mulletted boyfriend as we filled both scoots for $12 knowing that they were unlikely to get change from $80!

It was a relief to see the outskirts of Melbourne. As we approached the turn off to Wallan I couldn’t help thinking about our good buddy Luke B who used to live down this way. Luke has traveled with us before and is a frequent and always welcome visitor to our house and, well, is a member of our family. This time last year he joined us in Tassie for a tour and rode with us all the way back to Canberra through Eastern Victoria. It was a memorable trip and one that we will always look back upon with a smile.

As we whizzed past the array of odd-looking speed cameras it became apparent that all was not well in the sky above. The clouds had started to gather and that all too familiar smell of rain hit my nostrils. I don’t particularly mind riding in the rain – as long as I’m suitably attired. The feeling of water slowly trickling into your undies is one of the most uncomfortable sensations you can have on a bike. Ask anyone who rides. At first I thought the rain would be kind but, as it happened, we were soon forced to shelter under and overpass to wait it out. A couple of brave bikers sped past while cars and trucks sprayed us with the wash from their tyres. Eventually we threw on the wet weather gear and rode on. It turns out that wet weather gear is only there to distract you long enough for the rain to stop – as it faithfully did! We soon stopped at another servo and stripped it off again – sigh.

With full tanks we made the final push for Port Melbourne and were soon crossing the Bolte Bridge with Port Phillip Bay awash with sunlight before us. I don’t think I could ever get sick of Melbourne. Its mixed Mediterranean/Metropolitan feel has always appealed to me. Plus, there are few places were the espresso is as good! Plus plus – FOOTY.

We grabbed some noodles in Bay Street before hunting another cache. Then it was over to Station Pier to await the arrival of the Spirit of Tasmania – our transport over Bass Strait. We were quite early (to my relief) and sat to take in the scene. People of all walks of life went by us in a relatively short time. Nikki and I love to watch (not creepy) but we also like to comment – as our friends will attest. We don’t mean anything by it, it’s just for our amusement.

Finally it was time to get in line for the ferry. As with our last time, we were ushered through security and the line of cars quite quickly – yet another advantage of ditching a car for these trips. That being said, some families were travelling in some nicely kitted-out 4WDs and I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. They were enjoying their own adventure and would get to see parts of Tassie that we just wouldn’t be able to access. Also in the line was a woman and her Harley Davidson who recognised us from our overpass shelter. She asked lots of questions about the bikes and our plans. It’s one thing we’ve had to learn about riding away on Vespas – you must be prepared to talk about them.

Onboard at last, the scoots parked alongside the rest of the bikes and were strapped down by one of the crew. We’ve made this crossing a couple of times before so were quite able to find our way around the ship. We had a giggle at the manic families trying to locate their cabins or a place to park near the feed lot (sorry, buffet). We sat with stubbies of Cascade Premium and took in the scene. A friendly German guy took our photo and at that point I really felt like I was on holiday. We didn’t really feel like eating so we had a couple more beers before hitting the hay.

A great day all round. Tomorrow – Devonport to Orford and Christmas Day!

Click HERE to see today’s pics!

And They’re Off!

Day 1 – Canberra to Albury.

What can you say about the Hume Highway? Back when we were kids it was a twisty windy ribbon of black tar that wound its way through interesting and vibrant little boroughs full of cafes, milk bars and pubs. Now it’s a very boring stretch of tarmac and concrete upon which we must be constantly on guard for twits in commodores trying to break land-speed records.

That being said, today’s traffic was very well behaved. There was a noticeable lack of trucks and the people heading off for Christmas in far off places were taking their time.

Not that today was without its dramas.

We had a very quick call-in to make on the way out of Canberra. Unfortunately, I (Morgan) realised all too late that a wasp had found its way into the sleeve of my jacket and, before leaving, left me with a nasty reminder of what wasps can do. But perhaps it was a good omen – Vespa being Italian for wasp? We’ll leave that for you to decide.

We topped up the tanks at Gold Creek before joing the Barton Highway. Zita’s odometer read 5050 and Giorgio’s 17820. The tyre pressures were checked for good measure and we were soon on our way.

This part of NSW is always a pleasure to be in – eapecially when we’ve had a drop of rain. While I always prefer the more tropical landscape, Nikki really loves the rural scene in Australia. I wish I could see as much beauty as she takes in as we trundle past the hills.

Our first stop wasn’t until the southern end of Gundagai. I was already feeling very saddle sore and just a bit too hot. Nikki was loving the ride which is in stark contrast to this time last year when she was just a bit terrified! I’m so proud of how far she has come with her riding in such a short span of time. One passenger in a passing car waved and gave Nikki the thumbs up – something that always makes her feel good. A chap in Gundagai asked us where we were headed and told us that he was ‘impressed’ before jumping back into his Porche Cayenne. BTW, what’s with Porche 4WDs? Are Land Rovers too cheap?

The line up for fuel was incredibly long but we took our turn like everyone else. Another $14.22 down the drain – fuel is so expensive! I intend to hold on to our fuel receipts for the whole trip to see just how much we spent compared to the kilometres ridden.

The ride from Gundagai to Albury was pretty much without incident. We stopped at a truck rest point to allow a couple of semi-trailers to get some distance away from us. Nikki was getting a bit frustrated with their leap-frogging. Another quick stop in Holbrook for a leg strretch was all we did before heading into Albury.

Tonight we’re staying at The Albury Manor House and we must say that we are completely impressed! The room is very tidy, the shower head is decent and the restaurant served very good eye fillet and had quite a comprehensive wine list.

Tomorrow morning we’ll take in the ‘all you can eat’ pancakes that they do here followed by hunting down some geocaches (more on geocaching another time).

Hope you enjoy the pics (when we figure out how the iPad wishes to share them with you).

It’s Nearly Time….

While we’re in Brisbane today, the day after tomorrow will see us on the road out of Canberra and heading South.

We’ve had a few technology upgrades as well that will make accessing the blog a whole lot easier. There’s a bit of anxiety associated with the first couple of days as we have to make a deadline in Melbourne. If we miss it, there will be devil to pay!

So, readers, we will make haste on 23 Dec – while always staying safe – so this blog will actually be worth reading. We hope to have plenty of great photos of the trip and an interesting story to tell every day.

Stay tuned folks! Continue reading

Upgrade Update

Zita is possibly in for a long wait – finally a response from SIP which is “I’m sorry Scorpion has no manifold or exhaust for that scooter. It should be available in the beginning of next year”. WTF. We are waiting to see if Mick thinks welding the bit on is possible. Or we may have to send the exhaust back. Either way, she will not have her pretty (and awesome) exhaust for the trip. This is definite. Sad face.

But I have ridden her a few times since her variator was fitted, which has been fantastic. I can really tell the difference when she is around 80-100km/hr. She can sit much more comfortably at these speeds now which is definitely required for our trip next week.

Morgan has fitted Giorgio’s top box ready for next week. Zita will carry our roll bag on her new rear rack. Packing is going to be fun…

Disappointment for Zita

Poor Zita – she arrived at Motorini on 9 Dec all excited about some new bling. A shiny new polished Scorpion exhaust. Alas it was not to be.

It turns out that SIP in Germany sent us an exhaust kit for a carburetted LX150 engine but Zita is fuel injected. With nowhere to fit the air sensor needed for the fuel injection system, Zita was not to be fitted with the exhaust today. A hasty e-mail to Germany yielded only mild confusion. Now it’s the weekend so we’ll have to wait until Monday to see what the Germans have figured out for us. In any case, Zita won’t be sporting that particular piece of bling for the pending trip (more about the trip later).

All was not lost though – Zita got herself a new Malossi variator, a new rear tyre and a chrome luggage rack. Morgan rode her home from Motorini as Nikki was under the weather. He can report that her new transmission has produced a very zippy scoot! Yay! The new rack on the back continues Zita’s chrome-accented theme and looks a treat.

Giorgio also received some attention on the day. A new Malossi variator, oil change, belt change, filter change and valve clearances. Thanks to Mick the Master Mechanic who stayed at work until the job was done – and then had the good grace not to stab Morgan when he rode Zita home instead! Giorgio got collected the next morning and ridden home. He’s a very different scoot with his new transmission. The range between 40-80km/hr is much much quicker now and he’s punching through 100km/hr much quicker than before.

Can’t help thinking what’s next for the scoots – more upgrades? There’s not a great deal more that can be done to them now without fitting some big-bore kits – the work involved with that particular job is just a bit beyond us right now.